Doctoral research student Natàlia Égüez, M.A.

Doctoral research student

Natàlia Égüez (Spain)

M.A. in Archaeology

PhD project
Pastoralist Geo-Ethnoarchaeology: Microstratigraphic investigation of stabling spaces in mobile communities. Dung and organic matter as biomarkers.
The work focuses on comparative, integrated approaches that explore the link between human societies and their environment. This research integrates micromorphology, stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques to characterise (1) carnivore and herbivore faecal remains at a micro-scale level and (2) sediments from rich organic anthropogenic layers. This multi-proxy approach enables us to identify organic remains within the soil that can be used as an indicator of pastoral activities in ethnographical and archaeological contexts. Eastern Mongolia herding campsites, as case study, offers an exceptional ethnographical proof-of-concept to investigate the seasonal usage and occupation of pastoral camps, which is an important temporal variable in mobile societies, difficult to detect in the archaeological record. The application of this multi-disciplinary approach will provide a robust framework to understand the complex interplay between culture and biology in a long-term perspective, and will contribute to spread knowledge about pastoral mobile societies and their value for archaeological, ethnographical and ecological research.
Research interests Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Archaeology. Micromorphology and Geochemical analysis. Experimental Pyrotechnology. Site formation in karstic environments. Characterization and taphonomic analysis of biological remains in the study of Pleistocene Human-Carnivore interactions (diet and patterns).

Since November 2014
Member of the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” at Kiel University.

M.A. in Archaeology. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain).

B.A. in Physical Geography. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain).

Work experience

Participation in Research Projects:

  • 2014 – present: Grotte Mandrin (Malataverne, France), Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. (micromorphological sampling and analysis)
  • 2014 – present: Grand Abri du Puces (Vaucluse, France), Middle Palaeolithic. (micromorphological analysis)
  • 2013 – present: Cova del Gegant (Sitges, el Garraf, Spain), Middle Palaeolithic. (geoarchaeological sampling and analysis)
  • 2013 – present: Cova del Coll Verdaguer (Cervelló, Spain), Middle Palaeolithic. (micromorphological analysis)
  • 2013 – present: Cova Bonica (Vallirana, Spain), Neolithic. (micromorphological sampling and analysis)
  • 2012 – present: Cueva de El Toro (Antequera, Andalucía, Spain), Neolithic. (micromorphological analysis)
  • 2009 – present: Cova del Parco (La Noguera, Lleida, Spain), Epipalaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic. (geoarchaeological sampling and analysis)
  • 2004 - 2005 WMO-WORLD Weather Research Programme: Mediterranean Experiment (MEDEX) on “Cyclones that Produce High Impact Weather in the Mediterranean”. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Participation in Archaeological Excavations:

  • 2014 Grotte Mandrin (Malataverne, France), Middle and Upper Palaeolithic.
  • 2013 Abric del Pastor (Alcoy, Alicante, Spain), Middle Palaeolithic.
  • 2013 Abric de El Salt (Alcoy, Alicante, Spain), Middle Palaeolithic.
  • 2008-2013 Cova del Parco (La Noguera, Lleida, Spain), Epipalaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic.
  • 2007-2008 Pollentia (Alcúdia, Mallorca, Spain), Roman and Late Roman.

Coordination of scientific activities:

  • 2014 Seminar: Fire and Prehistory: Geoarchaeological Perspectives. April 25th, Facultat de Geografia i Història, Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain).
  • 2013 Archaeological Soil Micromorphology Workshop in the VI Young Researchers in Archaeology (JIA) Conference (7th - 11th May). Coordination with: M. Mateu (SERP and GRAP). Prehistory, Ancient History and Archaeology Department. Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain).
Selected publications

Sanz, M., Daura, J., Égüez, N., Cabanes, D. Following anthropogenic tracks in carnivore dens based on altered combustion structures in Cova del Gegant (NE Iberian Peninsula). Quaternary International. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.10.057

Driscoll, K., Alcaina, J., Égüez, N., Mangado, X., Fullola, J.M., Tejero, J.M. Trampled under foot: a quartz and chert human trampling experiment at the Cova del Parco rock shelter, Spain. Quaternary International. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.04.054

Égüez N., Mallol C., Martín-Socas D., Camalich D.: Radiometric Dates and Micromorphological Evidence for Synchronous Domestic Activity and Sheep Penning in a Neolithic Cave: Cueva de El Toro (Málaga, Antequera, Spain). Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-014-0217-0


Since 2013
EGU (European Geosciences Union). Soil System Sciences Division.

Since 2013
FUEGORED (Effects of Wildfires on Soils thematic network).

Since 2012
AINUBHA (University of Barcelona History and Archaeology Researchers Association).

Since 2008
SERP (Prehistory Research and Studies Seminar). Department of Prehistory, Ancient History and Archaeology. University of Barcelona (Spain).